Sales is essential to every Accounting firm. It is like workflow management. You get the information in, check it, manipulate it, question it and then file it. It’s a process that each person in your business should follow consistently and culminates with a finished project that is delivered to the client. So, how do you successfully optimize your sales process? You need to follow the four core steps of the step-by-step Accounting firm sales process - lead generation, lead management, selling and delivery. There are different strategies and techniques you can implement to improve each step.
Handled primarily by your marketing coordinator, lead generation, deals with improving your firm’s branding and lead generation activity. For branding, focus on sharpening your overall brand through marketing techniques such as writing articles, constructing case studies, adding content to your blogs and creating white papers. Prominently display your brand and great work in your office as well as on your website or other advertising channels.
Branding also plays a role in increasing your lead generation activity. Identify leads within your target market by obtaining prospect lists from webinars, referrals, social media, seminars or emails.
Have sales collect data on your generated leads and initiate contact with them. Use questionnaires to generate a client’s key financial data and input the data into a monitoring tool. Find additional opportunities for the client using the generated data as well as by researching their business.
Have your client service coordinator schedule an appointment and send the confirmation through a calendar service or electronic invitation. Make sure the client has met your pre-qualification criteria so they are the right client for your firm and target market. Double check you are meeting with all the necessary individuals, meaning every decision maker, partner and stakeholder. Without them present, you can expect to hold another meeting. Determine what you want to obtain to qualify you to move forward to the next step.
Selling involves planning and carrying out the client meeting. To move through this phase successfully, you need a plan. Your objective is to determine the client’s needs by identifying their problems and figuring out opportunities to help them fix those problems and achieve their goals. Use tools such as TRUST and PANALITIX to gain a client analysis and business performance review. Based on the data, set the agenda, include your positioning and value statements and understand the client’s buying process. Follow the 12-step meeting process to ensure you are properly prepared for the meeting.
Always book a meeting from a meeting. Write a detailed implementation plan giving different service options and pricing for the client to choose from.
Delivery, or finishing the job, is the final step of the sales process. Reach out to the client to ensure their satisfaction with all delivered services. Create a business performance review for the client and set up a future planning session. Keep an eye on various indicators such as profit improvement, cash flow forecast and asset protection.
If you have an efficient sales machine in action, then you should be receiving qualified leads that you can act on and sell to. Hold your team accountable for maintaining this process and you will be amazed by the outcomes.
Rob NixonCEO & Co-founder at PANALITIX
About the Author
Rob Nixon is the world’s foremost authority on how accounting firms can achieve peak performance. Since 1994, he has been running businesses that specialize in helping Accountants run better, more profitable businesses. His speaking work has taken him around the world where he has spoken to in excess of 170,000 Accountants. Currently, his landmark strategies and products are used by Accountants in over 30 countries.
On average, clients increase profit by 75.5%, enhance capacity by 30.6% and achieve sustainable revenue growth of 52.1% - in just 12 months.
Rob is the author of two best-selling books “Accounting Practices Don’t Add Up – why they don’t and what to do about it” – and “Remaining Relevant – the future of the accounting profession”. Both have received rave reviews from Accountants and industry professionals from around the world.
Rob’s latest book “The Perfect Firm: Your Playbook for Building a Perfect Accounting Business” aims to help Accountants build their perfect accounting firm.
In 2005, he created the revolutionary coaching model called coachingclub. The coachingclub model enabled firms to be accountable, to consistently learn and to share ideas amongst their peers. So far, over 800 accounting firms have graduated from his coachingclub program. The vast majority of firms have doubled or tripled profits because of the program.
Rob is a keen golfer (single figures) and adventurer (he is ticket holder 293 on Virgin Galactic to go into space). He lives in sunny Brisbane, Australia with his lovely wife Natalie and three children.